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Brutal Honesty – Oh Yes We Did !

In today’s buzz, we’ll look at how Domino’s turned a faltering business into one of the most outperformed business.

The Story…

The American economy was rebounding from the financial crisis of 2008, and there was a lot of business going on. However, the stock price of Domino’s was running at an all-time low of $6 per share. The Overall sales were dropping, and the worst thing was that they ranked last in the consumer brand preference survey.

Many blog posted comments on the taste of their pizza. Some people complained that the pizza crust tasted like cardboard, while others whined that the sauce tasted like cheap tomato ketchup, and so on. In addition, there were numerous social media posts about how bad the pizzas tasted, which were trending on the internet. All this resulted in decline in the overall sales of the company. People started making fun of the chefs and of customers who visited Domino’s.

Domino’s were already on a knife’s edge, and it was a delicate situation for them. Any company would engage in great public relations to overshadow the negative comments, or perhaps give out free pizzas in exchange for positive reviews, or simply ignore the posts and consider what a blog could do for a billion-dollar company. However, this was not done by Domino’s.

What did the Domino’s Do?

Domino’s used the most lethal weapon of advertising that any company would use, especially when it is falling. They used Brutal Honesty as a weapon of advertising. Mr Pattrick Doyle, CEO back then, took the whole responsibility for the failure and also publicly admitted that the company was not doing well.

They didn’t just leave it at that. They approached the disgruntled critics, handed them the pizzas, and asked for their feedback. This was the most challenging task since every critic that came in would rage at them and tell them how bad their pizzas were. However, the staff patiently listened to each comment and took notes.

Every single chef at Domino’s worked day in and day out over the next year and a half, even on weekends. They experimented with various ingredient combinations to create the finest pizzas possible. They modified the entire pizza, from the crust to the sauce, from top to bottom. During this experimentation, they found out that in the race for delivery in 30 minutes, the major loophole was in the company’s supply chain. The majority of their ingredients were either frozen, canned, or pre-made to reduce costs and made it easier to assemble them in record time.

The company did not alter its 30-minute delivery policy afterwards. The chefs and management collaborated to overhaul the company’s whole supply chain. This was a remarkable and significant transition, as overhauling the entire processing, storage, inventory, and shipping systems spanning 4200 outlets around the world was a monumental task. But they pulled it off in just 18 months !

They also launched a campaign called “OH YES WE DID !” after making all of the modifications, in which they documented their entire journey from making terrible pizzas to making the finest pizzas in the country. The executive chefs met with the harshest critics one-on-one. They delightfully surprised them with new pizzas that took into account all of their feedback. The critics were astounded because they had not expected the company to take their suggestions seriously, and to top it off, the head chefs personally delivered the pizza. The pizzas were tasted by the critics, and they loved it.

The company also included a special section on their website where they posted tweets and posts from their customers, who were delighted after having the new pizzas.

This is how Domino’s revamped itself and did all in its power to reclaim its reputation as the top pizza maker in the country.

Interesting Facts…

  • The squares in the logo of Domino’s are pizza boxes and the three dots in it stands for first three restaurants. The company had planned to add a dot every time it opened a new outlet, which did not happen in real.
  • The stock price of Domino’s rose over 44% in a month after the campaign and over 75% in that quarter.
  • Domino’s changed their Supply chain across 9.93 billion square kilometres which are approximately equal to 3 times the size of India.
  • The “Oh yes we did !” campaign has earned quite 2 billion impressions so far.
  • The Stock price of Domino’s has returned over 2000% even outperforming giants like Amazon, Netflix, and Alphabet (parent company for Google).

Critics plays an important role in running a successful business.